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Davide Sora

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Everything posted by Davide Sora

  1. I've never asked myself this existential question, but I think this is the right answer. I could also venture that with a broken line made from many angles, it would be more difficult to see if it fits well, the continuous line of a circle makes it easier. Leaving aside the square shape that would damage the top, I don't think there would be any acoustic differences between a round, octagonal or dodecahedral one, but I don't think I'll rush to check it. I think many bizarre shapes have been tried for the soundpost over the ages, but take my advice: make it round, and forget about it.
  2. Perfection is not necessarily a negative aspect, I believe that the greatest humanly possible perfection is an aspiration that leads to wanting to constantly improve, which is not a bad thing at all. But for violin making instead of perfection I think it is better to speak of accuracy of the work, because the term "perfection" is too often seen in a negative way because it is associated with machine work, which is not necessarily true if the quantity and the low cost of pieces produced is not a priority. And then, the concept of perfection lies in the eye of the beholder.
  3. Unfortunately I don't have any photos, I don't bother taking them because they aren't real repairs, just touch-ups. However I touch up with the same colored varnish to make sure they don't catch the eye too much (the exposed wood doesn't looks good effect just after a fresh chipping) but I don't go crazy making them invisible to a close inspection. If instead of chipping it is just uniform wear, such as for example on the upper edge where contact with the hand smoothly wears out the varnish, or on the rib itself, I only apply clear protective varnish without touching up the colour, leaving the effect of wear.
  4. I think the damage to the edges of the Cs and the corners (especially the upper right corner) is hard to avoid with heavy professional use. When I see fast, complex passages played, I'm always amazed how don't happen much more frequently. The corners are aesthetically pleasing and a legacy of the Baroque style, but they don't make life easier for the player. I always tell my clients not to be afraid of this type of damage, and I always fix it for free. For those who don't have a perfect technique yet and feel intimidated by doing this type of damage, or to be more relaxed during rehearsals or study (or if the luthier charges for repairs...), there are always these protections who do their job very well: https://www.sharmusic.com/C-Clip-Protector-Violin?quantity=1 But they wouldn't look good at a concert.
  5. I would rather say that a master luthier knows the value of his mistakes. Or rather, he knows when a mistake is a mistake (therefore unacceptable), or when it is an authentic trace of his work that bears witness to a work made by his hands with traditional tools.
  6. I don't have many images of the wear after years, I don't bother documenting it. Basically it is limited to chipping on the edges (accidental hits) and wear of the varnish as it would be expected in the contact areas of the hand (edge and rib) and of the neck (lower rib near chinrest). Luckily I have customers who take care of their instruments and use shoulder rests, so wear on the plates is very limited or non existent. Only once did I see on a 1982 violin that the varnish adjacent to the chin rest was almost completely gone, because the player has a thick beard. I usually don't mask the wear. but in this case I had to apply a few coats of varnish to the area to protect the exposed wood. I touch up the chipping on the edges (whitish wood exposed), but trying not to totally mask it but to leave a minimum of relief perceptible. It's part of the life of the instruments. Just a couple of not too old examples: 2011 violin - Germany - Professional orchestra player 2015 Viola - Spain - Professional orchestra player
  7. Perhaps another possible application of this tool, I suppose. It would be fine for digging the channel for a truss rod, if only it was invented before 1900...
  8. It would definitely be more appropriate. But I believe there is always a winner at Miss World, I don't know if there is the possibility of a non-awarding of the prize.
  9. I know, you are pretty old, and your brass purfling cutter betrays your age. I have one like it somewhere too, but when I bought it I was basically still in the diaper...
  10. Even to produce modern instruments, showing one's mistakes and imperfections is part of the future personality of our violins.
  11. Yes, in Italian they are called groove planes (pialle per scanalature), and indeed it looks just something like this. I don't think it had a specific use for lutherie, on the other hand in each of our workshops there would most likely be tools not dedicated exclusively to lutherie. Maybe they used it to make window frames. Or perhaps it could have been useful for making instrument cases.
  12. No, but I make quite deep traces, then cut to the final depth with the knife. Keep in mind that I purfle with the channel already done, I only need to go 1.5mm deep at most (less for the inside cut). If you look carefully, the tips of my blades are also set to different levels to match the slope of the channel. Oops, realized the question was meant for another David. Read too quickly, sorry
  13. Interesting, I hadn't thought of that. This would explain the shape of the cutter, and perhaps also that the wooden body is hollow in the center. There is also the possibility that the cutter (the metal arm) is not mounted correctly, it could be reversed in both directions, who knows. I say this because there is that strange hollow on one side (visible in the last photo I posted, currently on the opposite side of the angled part of the arm). If it was a router plane and if the cutter was on the same side of this hollow, it might take a functional sense, perhaps to leave room for the shavings that form while cutting.
  14. The MS702 is from the Ceruti workshop, for the 703 and 704 the attribution is uncertain (missing labels that do not allow the provenance from one collection or another) but I bet they are from Ceruti workshop too. For the two "normal" marking tools it is not clear what the locking was like, perhaps one for tight fit (MS704, squared body), but for the other the housing hole of the arm seems wider, perhaps they used a coaxial wedge with the arm itself and housed in the same hole (MS702, semi-cylindrical body). Just my guess. For the one with semicircular hollow body and metal angular arm (MS703) there is a metal screw for locking. What it was for has always puzzled me: most likely it is a simple marking tools, but I don't understand why the body emptied in the center (better grip?) and the chisel shape of the marking element, and not even the semi-circular shape. Does anyone have any bizarre guesses on its function?
  15. If you want to use both blades at the same time (like I do) you need to thin yours so you can space them correctly, or find thinner ones, such as modifying spare blades for cutters (about 0.7/0.6 mm thick). In the photos you can see what I use and how the blades are shaped and sharpened.
  16. It seems that there have been quite a few competitions concentrated in 2022. perhaps the organizers should agree on the dates in order not to lose entries due to the overcrowding of competitions.
  17. Some consider the Cremona Triennale the most prestigious for modern violin making (antiqued violins are not allowed), but only because it is held in Cremona, and if I'm not mistaken one of the the oldest. Many other competitions like Wienawsky, VSA, Mittenwald, Paris, and Moscow, are on the same level, but I wouldn't want to do the others wrong... Regarding the definition "Olympics of violin making", I find it rather inappropriate, because at the Olympic Games there is always a gold medal winner, while at the Triennale (as well in other competitions) they can annoyingly decide not to award it.
  18. Even if he more than halved production, 25,000 x 20 = $500,000 a year. Wow again!! and still, really? Or, avoiding killing himself with work and wanting to raise the quality, is it possible that he make much, much less violins? Perhaps 10 per year, which for me are in any case an unattainable number for my (I admit scarce) production capacities. The number goes down...
  19. No chances. Not because they are better or worse, but simply because no one would even consider giving them a chance...
  20. Let see. Assuming an average price for a violin of $10,000 (pretty low for an expert and known maker as Matsuda) would be 10,000 x 55 = $550,000 per year. Wow! Considering that I believe he had higher prices, the figure still goes up. Really?
  21. I agree, and I would add that most likely all the other luthiers in Cremona could work for Mr. Stradivari if he had the need and paid them, not all of them had a list of orders like him.
  22. In my wiew, even the best Stradivari or Amati might seem out of place on a table together with the Guarneri, or perhaps more likely the other way around (but it's just a matter of taste).
  23. I found this list of violin making competitions, probably not exhaustive, but I don't know if there will be any in 2023, certainly not the Cremona Triennale which will be in 2024. But there are links to the organizers, you can check the dates. https://www.corilon.com/us/library/towns-and-regions/international-violin-making-competitions-ente-triennale-cremona-concours-etienne-vatelot-vsa-competition-mittenwald-violin-making-competition#Ente-Triennale
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